Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service
318-869-5120 or 869-5709

Centenary's Annual Founders' Day This Year Honors 50th Anniversary of Mickle Hall of Science and 25th Year of School of Church Careers

Benjamin R. Oliphint Bishop Benjamin R. Oliphint

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Bishop Benjamin R. Oliphint of Houston, Texas will be the keynote speaker Thursday, March 25 when Centenary College holds its annual Founders' Day, which this year celebrates the 174th anniversary of the college's founding.

During the convocation and the Alumni and Family Weekend events that follow, Centenary will mark the 50th year of Mickle Hall of Science and the 25th year of the School of Church Careers. The college will also recognize this year's graduating seniors. The program, which is open to the public, will begin at 11 a.m. in Brown Chapel.

Bishop Oliphint will discuss "Bowling Alone" in an address that will consider "the alarming drop in mediating institutions … what that says about our society … and what can be done about it." He described a mediating institution as "a place where you are known by your name, a place where you come together for some common purpose." These institutions can range from civic clubs and fraternal organizations to PTAs, churches, and family reunions.

"They fill a tremendous gap between mass society and the individual," Oliphint said. "Bowling Alone" has become a term used by sociologists and others to describe the decline in such groups. "In the last two years, the number of bowlers has increased by 10 percent while the number of bowling teams has decreased by 40 percent." Therefore, he said, "more people are bowling alone."

In addition to the lecture, the program includes the announcement of recipients of the Outstanding Faculty Award and the Alumni Research Grant, as well as a performance by the Centenary Choir.

In keeping with Centenary tradition, Centenary faculty, administrators and graduating seniors in academic regalia will march in a procession from Mickle Hall to Brown Chapel.

The convocation will be followed by an all-campus picnic held in Centenary's Crumley Gardens. The picnic is open to Centenary students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the college who have made reservations.

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